Let’s travel around the AFC West as the Chiefs secure a playoff berth, the Raiders survive, and the Broncos and Chargers lose yet again.
This week was such a strange week of football. Reflecting on the scores that we saw this week, I just sit back and think it was weird. Who saw the Giants beating the Seahawks? The Chargers couldn’t score a single point with all their talent? The Jets really tried to jeopardize their shot at Trevor Lawrence by beating the Raiders? The Browns blew out the Titans?
I just don’t know; football is strange. So let’s look at the weird week for the AFC West…
Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders were looking to bounce back in Week 13 after a humiliating loss to the Atlanta Falcons that bumped them out of a playoff wildcard spot and into “the hunt.” This was supposed to be a get-right game against the winless Jets as they tanked for Trevor. Maybe it was the fact that Derek Carr just welcomed a new baby or the fact that the Jets players don’t want to go winless, but this was anything but a cakewalk.
The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Raiders down 4 points with just seconds left on the clock. What followed was a colossal failure on the defensive side of the ball by the Jets.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams decided to call for no deep help when the only thing the Raiders needed was a touchdown. Derek Carr said a prayer and chucked the ball down the field to a deep Henry Ruggs who had beat his defender. Ruggs completed the 46-yard catch and waltzed into the end zone to give the Raiders the win and keep them in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The Raiders were without both running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram—Jacobs with an ankle injury and Abram with a knee injury. The Raiders also saw Damon Arnette, their rookie cornerback, leave the game early with a concussion. All three will be necessary as they enter the final stretch of the season hoping for a postseason berth.
Next week, the Raiders host the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, also vying for the playoffs, have a tough defense—much tougher than the winless Jets—and are coming off a close win against the Houston Texans. Divisional games are always tricky, so the fact that the Texans win was close is something that I can overlook. The Colts are one of those sneaky teams that you can easily forget about. I don’t think the Raiders have the ability to overtake them, especially because the Colts need to win.
Game time is Sunday at 3:05 p.m.